Columbia’s health director on Friday ordered bars to stop serving alcohol at 9 p.m. and close at 10 p.m. after more than 300 University of Missouri students tested positive for coronavirus in the midst of ‘an alarming 44% positivity rate for the surrounding county.“What we see in our violations is that they happen late at night,” said Stephanie Browning, chief of the Columbia, Missouri health department. “Gathering of large groups. They don’t wear their masks, they don’t socialize.
The University of Alabama reported on Friday that an additional 481 students have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total to more than 1,000 infections since the students returned to the Tuscaloosa campus in the fall.
The city’s mayor closed his bars on Monday for two weeks.
“We are closely monitoring our data on a daily basis, and will continue to adjust operations as the situation warrants,” University of Alabama System Chancellor Finis St John said in a statement. communicated. He said testing for the virus was a key pillar of the university’s health and safety plan.
St John said every student at all three campuses had the option to switch to fully online education at any time, stay on campus, or return home to continue their classes.
In Utah, Provo city council overturned a mayor’s veto to pass a mask mandate, which includes a $ 500 fine for organizing large gatherings without a mask, days before the students returned to the Brigham Young University across the country.
But the council nonetheless feared that students sharing dorms, bathrooms and showers could become super-propagators and push the virus off campus, council chairman George Handley said.
“We are already seeing what has happened across the country at other universities,” he says. ”
A recent warehouse party hosted by a BYU student promotion company called Young / Dumb also raised concerns when photos of hundreds of maskless revelers surfaced online.
BYU, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has its own rules requiring masks on campus. The requirements for the city’s indoor public spaces will help people stay healthy and businesses stay open, Handley said.
“It’s actually about preserving our way of life, it’s not about destroying it as some people say,” Handley said.
Fueled in part by clusters where students return to class, Kansas has seen its biggest seven-day increase in coronavirus cases.
State Governor Laura Kelly said epidemics on college campuses, fraternities and sororities were at least one factor in the outbreak. “We cannot continue to follow this path,” she told reporters on Friday.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has ordered all bars around University of Iowa and Iowa State closed. In Story County, home to the state of Iowa, 74% of new cases in the past seven days were in people aged 19 to 24, Reynolds said Thursday. During the same period, 69% of new cases in Johnson County, home of the University of Iowa, were in this age group.
“It increases viral activity in the community and spills over to other segments of the population,” Reynolds said.
Three of North Carolina’s largest public universities have halted in-person undergraduate education and ordered students to leave dorms after hundreds tested positive after returning to campus. More than 800 have been infected at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and more than 670 in the state of North Carolina.
Executives from UNC-Chapel Hill, which has switched to online courses, wrote an open letter to the mayor on Thursday outlining the steps the university is taking to curb off-campus parties.
“We recognize the very real issues with the behaviors of some of our fraternities and sororities,” the letter said.
The United States has recorded more than 180,000 deaths from the coronavirus and 5.9 million confirmed infections. Globally, the death toll is estimated at more than 830,000, with at least 24.5 million cases.